3 out of 8 Meet City Election Compliance - Will Voters Penalize Remaining 5 Candidates in District 2 Race?
Who Submitted Finance Campaign Reports?
Former Councilman Keith A. Toney, Candidate Jada L. Andrews-Sullivan and Candidate Walter E. Perry Sr. have filed Candidate Campaign Finance Reports for the District 2 City of San Antonio Council Race as reflected on the SanAntonio.gov website.
But what about the other five candidates? Joseph Powell, Salena Santibanez Guipzot, Denise Gutierrez-Homer, Ruben I. Arciniega and Richard Anthony Ramey have not filed any report in 2019. How are these candidates raising money and spending money to win the coveted District 2 seat? If the candidates are to deserve your vote, shouldn't you know who is influencing them to run and win your vote?
Campaign Finance Rules
According to the City of San Antonio website, "Do I still have to submit a Campaign Contribution and Expenditure Report if I am not involved in the election?" The website answer is: "Yes. As long as an Officeholder, Candidate, or Specific Purpose Political Action Committee (SPAC) has appointed a Campaign Treasurer, Campaign Contribution and Expenditure Reports must be filed in accordance with State and Municipal Campaign Finance requirements. Withdrawing from an election, being disqualified as a candidate, being defeated in an election, being affected by term limitations, or having no reportable political activity does not absolve an Officeholder, Candidate, or Specific Purpose Political Action Committee from the requirement to file timely reports. Only the submission of a complete Final Report releases the Candidate, Officeholder, or SPAC Treasurer from the obligation to file reports."
What else should you know about the process? On the City website they answer to the candidates, "Is there anything else that I need to submit?" Here is the short answer, "In accordance with Section 2-306 of Municipal Campaign Finance Regulations, Officeholders and Candidates for Municipal Office are required to submit monthly bank statements within five (5) business days of receipt of the statement from the financial institution. Statements should be delivered to the following address:Office of the City Clerk or Leticia M. Vacek, TRMC/CMC/MMC, Office of the City Clerk. Statements can also be e-mailed to OfficeoftheCityClerk@sanantonio.gov." It goes on to say, "Additionally, Chapter 145 of the Local Government Code requires that all Officeholders and Candidates for Municipal Office submit a Personal Financial Statement (PFS) while the City of San Antonio’s Ethics Code requires the submission of a PFS Addendum. For more detailed information regarding the Application process, please refer to General Municipal Election Information FAQ's. Pursuant to Chapter 258 of the Texas Election Code, every Candidate and Political Committee is encouraged to subscribe to the Code of Fair Campaign Practices. The Code may be filed with the Office of the City Clerk upon submission of the Campaign Treasurer Appointment."
No Transparency from Candidates?
Maybe the five candidates have not appointed anyone to serve as Campaign Treasurer... but then our question is how serious are they really to gain your vote, if they don't do the basic minimums. With that being said, Toney, Sullivan and Perry are showing they want to win.
So maybe they don't see the personal need to be transparent. Like President Trump's situation of not showing his tax records, why are these candidates avoiding showing their political hand and muscle? According to the City of San Antonio website: "In accordance with Title 15 of the Texas Election Code, Officeholders and Candidates may not accept any campaign contributions or make any campaign expenditures (including paying filing fees) until a Campaign Treasurer has been designated. Take note, that not even personal funds may be expended for campaign purposes without first appointing a Campaign Treasurer." So again, how can a person fund a campaign office, website (the few that are up), campaign signs, mail-outs, logos and host meetings with food and drink with no funding? If these candidates can't show us through the campaign finance reports, I say don't give these individuals your vote. In our opinion, they may be wasting your time! Let's see if this pushes the candidates to show us the money before election day.
Mayor Nirenberg posted on Facebook Sunday evening explaining how the city is cracking down and ensuring election rules are followed. We are not so sure that is the truth after looking here, within this story, at the facts.
"If they can't tell us as simple as who paid for lunch, why should we trust them?", asked a District 2 resident, Carlos Lopez.